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My Autistic Son’s Joyful, Successful Disneyland Trip

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com As many of us are planning summer excursions, here are the whys and hows of one autistic boy’s successful trip to Disneyland. Look, I grew up in Anaheim. Disneyland’s fireworks exploded over our house every summer night, and I played Dopey the Dwarf in the Main Street Electrical Parade. I couldn’t be more blasé about the house of Mouse, so if you told me that my former workplace would one day make me happy enough to cry, I’d have scoffed. But crying with happiness is exactly what happened during my autistic son Leo’s birthday trip to Disneyland — he had two full days of pure joy that melted my cold, hard, meh-filled heart. For my son, it really was a Magic Kingdom. Photo of Leo by his uncle Mike Des Roches Leo hadn’t been to Disneyland since 2004 because the interim years were challenging ones…

International Travel with an Autistic Child

L. Mae Wilkinson www.autismisnottheboss.com Could this be the year you take your child overseas for a family vacation? Yes! …and you can have a fabulous time. Travel is enriching, educational and fun. It offers a break from therapy, homework, housework, deadlines and bedtime battles.  Travel is pure, quality, family time with no distractions. And in our case, our son always rises to the occasion by being on his best behavior. Here are some tips for those brave enough to travel internationally with an autistic child. Practice. International flights are not for novices. A child (and his/her parents) will find it comforting to have had at least a few domestic flights under the belt before heading off on a long-haul trip. Using a combination of credit card points, frequent flier miles and fare sales, we’ve been traveling since our son was three years old. Starting out, we used pictures to preview and practice…

Holiday Wrap-Up

Liz Ditz http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/ http://lizditz.typepad.com/academic_remediation/ The editorial team here all thought we would all take a break until January 3rd, 2011 but I changed my mind. This year, I actually wrote down all the recipes I used so I’d remember them next year, and I thought we could use this time to note down what worked and what didn’t, as far as the holidays, travel, and autism are concerned. Shannon shared her tips and those gleaned from others in Autism and Holidays: Success Through Meticulous Planning (inclused my new favorite seasonal carol, Let Me Stim, Let Me Stim, Let Me Stim. Here are a few more autism & Christmas posts from around the blogosphere: Caren Zucker at the Daily Beast wrote Christmas With My Autistic Son, (also at TheMcGlynn) in which there was a failure of communication, which resolved into increased family closeness. Check out Mickey’s Christmas list! Lisa Jo Rudy…

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Outings, Travel, and Autism

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com www.canisitwithyou.org www.blogher.com/blog/shannon-des-roches-rosa We are adamant about taking Leo on as many excursions as we can, to stores, movies, restaurants, parks, and other destinations. He is an able-bodied and energetic boy, and he likes a good adventure as long as we respect the limits of his tolerance. Also, we want Leo to be a boy-about-town so he gets used to being part of our community, and our community gets used to him. Outings aren’t always easy. But I have no intention of leaving Leelo home when we might succeed. I do not care if other people think he behaves strangely or makes funny noises; as long as he is not harming or interrupting anyone, we carry on with heads raised, meeting stranger’s stares with confident and unapologetic smiles that I will admit to having practiced in the bathroom mirror. Here are some of the tactics that…